As the largest environmental college in the country, the University of Washington College of the Environment is in a unique position to shape not only the lives of our students, but the future of our entire planet. As we face the parallel crises of climate change, declining biodiversity and worsening health outcomes for those who bear the brunt of pollution and environmental degradation, we are training the next generation of environmental scientists and policy innovators who will help us rise to meet these challenges.

At this critical moment in history, it is more important than ever that we approach our work with strategic clarity. When we bridge the divides between disciplines, our College becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and our foundational research and solutions-focused innovation can flourish. We also recognize that environmental education must be inclusive and welcoming to all, and that our work can only succeed when we put justice and equity at the forefront. To these ends, the College of the Environment has embarked upon a strategic planning initiative which aims to maximize our impact throughout the state, country and around the world.

We are committed to making this a transparent process with as much community input as possible. This website will be updated regularly to report progress and offer opportunities to provide input. In the meantime, if you have questions or thoughts you would like to share with the committee, please contact envdean@uw.edu.


A thumbnail of the Town Hall video with an overlaid playhead.Draft framework and Town Hall video (new!)

The Strategic Planning Committee invites your feedback on the emerging draft Strategic Planning Framework, which articulates a mission, vision and four strategic priorities for the College of the Environment. You can also watch the Town Hall held on November 14, 2022 where leadership offered insight into why a plan is needed, how it will be used and answered questions from attendees about the draft framework.

Watch the video and review the draft framework


Timeline and process

Our efforts will culminate in February 2023 with the release of a strategic plan to guide the College over the next three to five years, establishing a bold vision and goals for our work and articulating specific strategies and initiatives to achieve them. The process will involve five phases of inquiry and planning over the next nine months. More details and a visual timeline are available in both PDF and HTML versions.

Read a text-only version Download the PDF (55KB)

Page one of the College's strategic planning process document Page two of the College's strategic planning process document


Strategic Planning Committee

The College of the Environment’s Strategic Planning Committee is composed of faculty, staff, students, external advisors and long-time supporters of the College, and serves as the primary working body for the strategic planning effort. They will consider and discuss bold ideas for the future of the College, particularly focused on ensuring we take full advantage of the breadth, depth and diversity of our scholarship to maximize our impact on a global scale.

  • Russell Callender (Co-Chair) Director, Washington Sea Grant
  • Shuyi Chen (Co-Chair) Associate Dean of Research, College of the Environment and Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Peter Abe, Director, Seattle MESA
  • Dan Brown, Director and Professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
  • Brendan Carter, Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies
  • Cailey Condit, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Space Sciences
  • Stephanie Harrington, Associate Dean of Administration, College of the Environment
  • Gordon Holtgrieve, Associate Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Sunny Jardine, Associate Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
  • Sally Jewell, Chair of EarthLab Advisory Council and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior
  • Rick Keil, Director and Professor, School of Oceanography
  • Joe Kobayashi, Adviser, Marine Biology Program
  • Ben Packard, Executive Director, EarthLab
  • Kristin Privitera-Johnson, PhD Student, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Hettie Scofield, Department Administrator, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Kristi Straus, Associate Director and Associate Teaching Professor, Program on the Environment
  • Maya Tolstoy, Maggie Walker Dean of the College of the Environment
  • Braeden Van Deynze, Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
  • Maggie Walker, UW Foundation Board Representative Director for College of the Environment, civic leader/philanthropist
  • Lillian Williamson, Undergraduate Student, Program on the Environment